The Straight Up Guide to Essential Oil Research

Whenever I talk about essential oils, it occurs to me that we have it all backwards. Why is it that the natural leaves and herbs, the stuff that nature intended to cure us, is considered “alternative,” while products that are developed in a lab and laden with chemicals are considered “mainstream?”

With that, it makes sense that some people are just skeptical about natural alternatives such as essential oils. It’s okay. I get it. Living in the pharmaceutical belt of the country, we probably have a lot of naysayers around here. What I wanted to do is collect the data behind the oils, the science – the research. As a former researcher myself, I understand the need for validation. You want proof from a third party. You want the essential oil research. So here it is, folks.

Before I begin, please note that I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on this site. Though there is plenty of essential oil research, essential oils are not regulated by the FDA. (Again, this seems somewhat backwards thinking, does it not?) Because essential oils are not evaluated by the FDA, they are not formally regulated to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any illness.

With that said, here are some of the results of scientific studies on essential oils by ailment. The links to the studies are all highlighted in green.

The Straight Up Guide to Essential Oil Research

Allergies: Lemon, Lavender, and Sage essential oils.

Alopecia: Essential oil aromatherapy shows benefits for Alopecia.

Alzheimer’s Disease: Essential oil aromatherapy research shows strong potential for Alzheimer’s patients.

Bacteria/Fungus: Esssential oils, including Peppermint, Spearmint and  Oregano essential oils.

Bladder/Urinary Health: Ylang-Ylang essential oil.

Blood/Circulation: Lavender and Black Pepper essential oils.

Cancer: Essential oils such as Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Blue Yarow, Patchouli, Geranium, and Valerian essential oil. Frankincense and Sandalwood together have also been studied.

Cognitive Function: Peppermint, Rosemary, and Sage essential oils.

Digestion/Nausea/Stomach Health: Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Oregano and Lemon essential oils.

Emotional/Mental Health: Ylang Ylang, Orange, Lavender, Bergamot. Rosemary, Sage, and Lemon Balm (aka Melissa).

Headaches/Migraines: Lavender essential oil.

Heart Health: LavenderYlang Ylang, Laurus Nobilis, Black Pepper, LimeLemon Balm, (aka Melissa). Lemon balm essential oil has been studied more than once for heart health.

Herbicides: Cinnamon, Lavender, and Cardamom essential oils.

Herpes: Lemon Balm (Melissa) essential oil.

Infections and Viruses: Essential oils such as Cinnamon, Oregano, Immupower and Purification. Lemongrass, Rosemary, and Oregano too.

Inflammation: Six essential oils, including Thyme, Clove, Rose, Eucalyptus, Fennel, and Bergamot. Lemon Balm (Melissa) essential oil has been studied too.

Lice: Melaleuca essential oil.

Liver Health: Garlic essential oil.

Molluscum: Lavender essential oil.

Menstruation/PMS: Essential oils including Lavender, Fennel and Anise essential oils, have been studied for their effects on menstrual issues.

Oral Care: Essential oils such as Clove, Peppermint, Tea Tree (Melaleuca) and Thyme essential oil, have long been studies for their potential effectiveness in oral care.

Post Surgery Care: Lavender essential oil.

Respiratory Health: Eucalyptus, Thyme, and Lavender essential oils.

Salmonella/ E. Coli: Tarragon essential oil.

Seizures: Angelica essential oil.

Skin Care: Lavender, Melaleuca, also known as Tea Tree oil, and Copaiba. And a recent article in Forbes even noted that essential oils are being used at barber spas and in luxury shaving lines.

Sleep Disorders/Disturbances: Valerian essential oil.

Smoking Cessation: Black Pepper and Angelica essential oil.

Sports Performance: Peppermint essential oil.

Tonsillectomy Pain: Lavender essential oil.

Women’s Health: Neroli, Fennel, Anise, Geranium and Valerian essential oils.

So, are you convinced yet that there is something to these essential oils? I sure hope so! If you have been interested in trying essential oils for yourself, or if you are curious how they may potentially help you and your family, I would be happy to help you get started with Young Living essential oils. If you have a particular ailment that you would like to address, stay tuned for tomorrow’s post or email me at with any questions.

If you have additional essential oil research that you would like me to add to this list, please share it in the comments below!

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  1. This is an excellent article and resource. I will be bookmarking this for future reference. Thank you for putting this together.

  2. Maggie Santos Viera says:

    Great info :-)

  3. Where’s the research? Statistics? This is still showing that there is no scientific evidence to these oils. Simply stating that a study found oils to be useful isn’t sufficient. How many participants, variables, etc? In the end this is just pseudo science.

    • Thanks for your inquiry. Any of the live links in the post will get you to the research, where you can find the scientific data, participants, variables, etc. for each of the claims in the post.

  4. Confused….if you click on the names of the oils she has linked them to a study supporting her claims…check it out!

  5. I’m disappointed as the 3 articles I have now clicked on are poorly conducted science with methods and conclusions that do not show support of alleviating the ailment. They DO seem to show a very small increase with antioxidants being very slightly higher which is good. I have been looking into oils for some things but they may not be helpful for what I’m looking for. Thanks for sharing these peer reviewed articles. They have been very helpful.

  6. Is there anything for autism?

    • Log Cabin Mamma says:

      I have a friend who is an RN and has a son who was diagnosed with regressive autism shortly after an immunization at age 4. Up to age 4 her son was a normal communicative demonstrative little boy . After, he became completely withdrawn and uncommunicative. He continued to regress rapidly until at around age 14-15 she discovered YL Essential Oils. After approximately one yr. on a YL oil protocol he is completely verbal and becoming more and more demonstrative. He knows and ask for the oils he needs to do life. She says after 12 yrs. she is finally getting her son back.

  7. Yes, there are several things for autism. Go young living website. You want to reduce stress with Bergamont, geranium, and clary sage. Just a few drops in palm of hand and massage in. Stimulate senses, Basil, lemon, peppermint, and Rosemary. I am sure there are more you can use for other symptoms.

  8. Real scientist says:

    The first reference I checked was for the valerian OIL. However, the research cited was for a study which tested valerian in PILL form – 800 mg. You cannot generalize from one form of a chemical to another. This is an example of bad thinking.

  9. Do you have this (and part 2) as a PDF? I would love to be able to save it in my kindle and reference it when I don’t have an internet connection!

  10. Thank you <3

  11. what oil is best for tennitus?

  12. I think that if you are planning to show the studies and research, a quick statement at the top of the article would be great to show that they are linked in the article. If someone is quickly perusing this, they would think there is no research cited. Frankly, if I had not glanced at the comments, I would have dismissed this article because I didn’t see any. I will now read it and if it seems well done, I will share with my essential oil distributors.

  13. I would like to know if there is any oil that can relieve neuropathy in the feet. My Uncle has had it for 12 years and in facr will not have heart surgery if it means living longer with this pain. I have tried him on lemongrass and peppermint but they didn’t do any good at all.

    • Hi, Kay. The Quick Reference Guide to Using Essential Oils recommends Peppermint, Frankincense, Lemongrass and Valor essential oils for neurological injury. For Nueropathy, it recommends Lemongrass, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender and Roman Chamomile. Please feel free to email me if you’d like to get started!


  1. […] study reported on Science Daily’s website, and this from the University of Maryland. Also, this website has some stellar links. The above has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Essential oils are not meant […]

  2. […] The Straight Up Guide to Essential Oil Research […]

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